Scallop wars: France fines British captain

Scallop wars: France fines British captain
A photo of a French trawler taken last year. Photo: Damien Meyer/AFP
The captain of a British trawler convicted of illegally dredging scallops in French waters was fined €20,000 on Wednesday in the latest episode in a simmering Anglo-French battle over the valuable shellfish.

Andrew Nicholson, 51, was also stripped of his fishing licence for a year and ordered to pay 5,000 euros in damages to a committee representing local fishermen after being found guilty of dredging 14 tonnes of scallops illegally on the night of September 5-6, 2012.

His boat, the Mattanja, was intercepted by French maritime authorities. The 32-metre trawler was found to have no log for catches and had switched off its tracking device, which fishing boats are legally required to keep on to ensure their activities can be monitored.

Two other British boats have since been charged with illegal dredging in French waters.

In October, the crews on five British trawlers claimed to have been surrounded and stoned by a flotilla of 40 French boats while attempting to gather scallops from beds off the port of Le Havre.

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